*2022 stock. In process of stocking* The award-winning 2-CD album features contemporary classical compositions and arrangements with traditional Irani instruments. The spiritual intensity and traditional musicianship was deemed worthy for Celestial Harmonies records. The musicians are the Dastan Ensemble, which is a collective who change membership over the decades. For this 2008 live concert recording, the Ensemble consists of Hossein Behroozinia (barbat, the Irani oud), Hamid Motebassem (the long-neck tar), Said Farajpoori (kamancheh spike fiddle); Pejman Hadadi (donbak goblet drum; dayereh frame drum), and Behhnam Samni (daf frame drum, dammam barrel drum, and kuzeh jug percussion). The vocalist is Houmayoun Sharjarian, son of master vocalist Mohamed Reza Shararian.
Lyrics of the songs and poems, both modern and ancient (12th, 13th, 14th-century), are provided in Farsi and English. Brief biographical notes on the musicians and descriptions of the instruments are also included. The songs are romantic or with religious underpinning. Disc 1, Part 1 of the concert, was arranged by Motebassem; Disc 2, Part 2, by Farajpoori. Track 4 of the first disc is entitled, Intoxicated, and it is purely instrumental, actually a percussion spectacular, and it would dispel any doubt that the music is contemporary. I found Disc 2 to be the more spiritual, the more varied and melodic. Shajarian's strong vocals bring depth to the poems throughout the album. Recorded at Radio Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcast Hall and superbly engineered, the 123 minutes of music are a treat for traditional music fans.